Why ME having a large family does not automatically give YOU the right to be rude



It has become apparent that having a large family seems to give others the green light to lose any manners their own parents may have tried to teach them, if indeed they were taught any to begin with.

I have made several observations with regards to comments we’ve received regularly and I wondered how other people of “normal” sized families would feel if I asked the same to them.

My hunch is they’d feel I was being rude.

Now, we’ve never had any negative comments made face to face.  Any nastiness or negativity is always made by others from behind their computer screen, allowing them to say things and behave in ways they probably wouldn’t in real life because they are anonymous.

When I had two children nobody cared.  What I mean is, nobody gave us a second look.

Nobody cared if they attended school or not, nobody cared about what I was earning and nobody cared about how much my shopping bill cost or what we ate.

Nobody cared where I bought their clothes from and nobody cared if they got along or not.

Nobody cared how much time I spent with them.

Nobody cared whether my children felt they got enough attention from me.

Nobody cared how we supported them.

Nobody said how they should never have been born because there were too many people in the world already.

Nobody said how they shouldn’t have been born because I couldn’t possibly look after both of them.

Nobody said how they shouldn’t have been born because two children were too many for a family to have and for a couple to look after.

Nobody cared and nobody questioned anything.

We were anonymous.  Just another family doing what families do.

Then our family grew.

And as our family grew it seemed to give people – strangers – the go-ahead to ask whatever they wanted and make statements they would never have dreamt (I hope, for their sakes) of making to a “more acceptable” two child family.

All of a sudden people wondered how much we earn, where we live, how we live.  They wonder where we shop, how much we spend and what we eat.

And then they tell us our family is too big, we have too many children and they shouldn’t have been born because “they” are paying for them and “their taxes” will pay for their medical care and education or because there isn’t room for our children in this world.

Needless to say their own one child/two children/three children aren’t overpopulating the world.  It must be someone else’s.  Not that there’s an issue with overpopulation anyway. 

And needless to say they’ll overlook the fact that “they” don’t pay a penny toward our children’s educations.  But I’ve been through all that before too.  

And of course they’ll overlook that we pay taxes ourselves.  But that’s by the by.

They’ve already decided that the size of our family gives them a right to be rude.

And yes, it is rudeness.

I’m considering an experiment where I reply to people’s “I’m pregnant!” announcements with, “Wow!  How much money is in your bank account?” instead of congratulating them.

I’m going to frequent parenting forums and ask each poster to complete a questionnaire asking how many children they have, the debt they owe and how much their household income is.

I’m going to visit old people’s homes and tell the residents they need to die soon because I’m fed up of my taxes paying for their pension.  I’ll tell them they are a drain on society as they aren’t contributing and the world is too full and they’re taking up space that I need for a new cherry tree.

Are you laughing?  Because that’s what large families have to deal with.

I would never dream of asking anybody what they earn.  Regardless of whether they were married, single, had children or not.  It is none of my business.

I would never ask a person with only one child or no children why they don’t have more.  It is not my place to dictate or question how many a kids a couple decides to have.  I am not the government of China (who incidentally shouldn’t have that right either).

I would never approach a parent at the school gate waiting to collect her only child and tell her that her child should never have been born because my taxes pay for his or her education and well, my own children don’t use it so “why the hell should hers?”.

Would they tell a couple expecting their third child that they don’t seem intelligent enough to raise any more children?

And whilst I’m on this subject I’m interested to know they would also vilify and criticise a same-sex couple using a surrogate or a couple desperate to conceive going through the rollercoaster of IVF on the grounds that the world is overpopulated enough?

The ones that say these things will probably not even read this post.  They’ll visit the site to be nosy, comment negatively on how the site has reviews (on the review page? Really?!) and advertising (well, it’s a business after all. You want ad free? Go to the BBC), but they’ll disregard anything they could possibly report back as positive.

Their minds are made up.  Facts don’t matter.  Like I’ve said, you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t and you’re damned if they simply feel like damning you.

However, if you are one of these folk and you have read this post I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

But only if you divulge your personal details and information complete with paperwork to prove and back it all up first.

In other words what I’m saying is, if you think a question would be rude if someone else asked you it, don’t ask it yourself.

It is none of your business how many children I choose to have or why.  Call it pro-choice rather than pro-life if it makes you feel better.  Pro-choice works both ways, you see.  I’m choosing to have a large family.  It’s my right and my prerogative.  It’s my choice.  I don’t care how much tax you pay.  My kids will one day be paying for you.  And I’m probably paying for your child’s education or for your pension right now.

Mind your manners, look closer to home and prove your parents did a good job raising you.






50 thoughts on “Why ME having a large family does not automatically give YOU the right to be rude

  1. well said, i have been asked how i can afford the baby that i am expecting at the moment(number 5) and i told to mind her own business before she minds mine! you are so right , what gives these people the right to ask such things?

  2. Call it pro-choice rather than pro-life if it makes you feel better. Pro-choice works both ways, you see.

    Amen to that!

    I ‘only’ have 6 children I get all those comments too. Most people just think we’re crazy, but some are openly hostile and rude. You get used to it but it still rankles.

  3. Well said, I know just how it feels, I have had lots of nasty, negative comments made, to my face and usually in very public places, just because I have 8 kids, on the flip side I have had many positive comments to, just yesterday an old lady said how nice it was to see someone having a large family (she had 8 herself) and also said how it was no ones business as long as they were looked after, loved and fed.

  4. Tania, such a great post again! What gives people, especially strangers, dictate to someone how many children they should or shouldn’t have.
    I am pregnant with our 4th child, so not that many really. 2yrs after having my 2nd child I fell pregnant for the 3rd time. I had RELATIVES telling me “Why do you want another one?” and my own MOTHER (who herself is 1 of 5, and has 4 children) told me it was “for the best” when I miscarried my baby. Needless to say, we after another miscarriage we did have our 3rd baby. Again, we faced criticism from relatives. Now pregnant with our 4th, we have been asked “That’s it now isn’t it?” ….. I’m still young, and even though my husband is adamant that 4 is enough…I’m pretty sure we can find enough love and room for more!!

  5. Surely it’s the government these people should direct their anger (if they really have to be angry) towards as they decide how tax money is spent. I am proud to be having my sixth baby next month, we have a lovely family and are enjoying our lives to the full, we don’t have time to listen to bitter people.

  6. I can completely see where you’re coming from. I agree it is very very rude for people to make comment on your choices and it’s also none of their business.

    Having said that – I know from my OWN point of view, having seen the tv program in which you featured, there was a very definite curiosity as to HOW you managed. How such a large household muddled along… just from a sheer logistical point of view. I have to say, when I saw the program advertised, my mind did jump to that automatic assumption that you were either independently wealthy or that you must get some help by way of benefits…. largely because, I suspect, my own sense of inadequacy told me that it couldn’t actually be possible to have such a wonderfully large family without some kind of assistance. You proved me wrong. I watched the program with a huge grin on my face, and it was inspirational – you proved that it can be done and done well :). Your family seems to be an incredibly happy and well-adjusted one and that’s lovely to see :).

    Now if other people couldn’t see beyond the size of your family, couldn’t see that you were all happy and content, I suspect it’s because they don’t want to see it. It’s much easier for them to pick holes in someone else’s life rather than deal with their own issues. Happy people live and let live. xx

  7. I’m surprised you put all that quite so politely. And brilliantly. You are absolutely right. Again. Sorry that it’s hurt so much. You deserve tons better. I think it’s good to take the moral high ground and keep your chin up. Big hugs XXX

  8. Here,here.I am a mum of 5 and was told I was mad not to abort my 2 youngest children by a couple people. I was devastated,my youngest child was a huge surprise but a pleasant, positive one at that. Children are,in my opinion blessings which we can and should learn so much from. I feel very proud of each and every one of my children.

  9. ” I’m considering an experiment where I reply to people’s “I’m pregnant!” announcements with, “Wow! How much money is in your bank account?” instead of congratulating them.”

    We just had our third child this past week, and when my husband announced his birth a “friend” of mine asked what kind of insurance we have for ourselves and our kids while a “friend” of his asked how much we make and insinuated that we don’t make enough to support our new baby.

  10. Well said. The assumption that large families must be taking government help is just rude rude rude. You are right, our kids will be growing up and paying taxes to support these uneducated people who really think the world is overpopulated. Okay, so we use alot of resources, but we do keep the economy going too. Who else spends hundreds of dollars a week at the grocery store? This IS America. And I am very thankful we have the right to choose to accept all these blessings!!!! Thank you for this post, it is nice to know I am not alone. I seriously can’t believe the hate some people have towards large families!


  11. I had six children very close together (lost two due to prem birth though). My kids are 8, 7, 6 and 5 – I got jibes when I was pregnant and still do, especially as I am a single mum. I came from a big family and always wanted a big family. I think we should be able to have the size of family we want, as long as we can be good and loving parents, teach them right from wrong and can afford to feed and cloth them!

  12. Bravo!! I completely agree. I’m only baking #4 right now, but here in Poland the average amount of children per family is only 1.8. Meaning, the population has been steadily declining for years! Most people that we know who have kid/s usually only have 1 or 2. Once in a while we will come across someone with 3. When people found out we were having #4 a lot of them called us crazy. Some actually said we were “amazing” for being able to handle so many. But even my in-laws (when pregnant with #3) said “why would you need more than 2? Don’t you realize you won’t be able to go on the vacations like we always do every year with more than that?” We looked at THEM like they were crazy. Why would we NOT be able to? Just because we have more than 2 doesn’t mean we can’t haul them all around. And it doesn’t mean that we could save up money just the same as we do every year. And if we can’t go somewhere “extravagent” on vacations like THEY like to, oh well… we are perfectly happy staying at home and going to a water park in our own city for a vacation… or camping at the sea instead of staying at an expensive hotel. Expensive doesn’t always mean better, depending on the type of family you have. I was blessed to have children that LOVE the outdoors and LOVE camping!

    When we go out in public… I’m very happy tha we live in this Country (I’m actually American). People here (at least most) understand what rudeness is. They might stare, or look at us like we are crazy, but most people don’t dare confront you or ask such questions. While visiting in America though… totally different story. I usually go alone with the children as my husband is usually working and I always get asked “are they all yours?” and have even gotten the comment “do they all have the same father?”… REALLY??!!! Or, since I’m alone with them, they sometimes even ask “is the father around or are you a single mom?” And don’t forget the religious questions. “Are you catholic?” or “Are you mormon?” A lot of times people just assume you are one or the other because they can’t wrap their head around it if you aren’t. To be honest… I am Catholic, but that isn’t the only reason (not even the first reason) why I Choose to have so many. I love children. I love having a large family. I only had 2 siblings, but my father was 1 of 6 and my mother was 1 of 6 and with all of them being married and having a couple kids of their own, holidays were always so much fun cause there was so much love from ALL the people in the family. I couldn’t imagine how boring it would be to only have 2 couples over for the holiday with their 1-2 children. It would be too quiet!

  13. Thank you for this. I have a small family of 6 (4 children), but I still get comments. I cannot imagine what it is like to have more and get the comments more often.

  14. Well said! I was once asked by our refrigerator repairman if I “know what causes that” when he noticed our family photo above the couch. I said “yes, international adoption! Are you considering it?” He had no answer.
    I love this post. I’m keeping it in a handy little file in case I need to use it against someone (ha ha) . . just kidding . . .sort of . . .

  15. I have a son and a daughter… 2 years and 10 months. And in about 5 months (the end of November), I’ll be having another girl. So I have two, the third hasn’t even been born yet, and I’ve already started getting questions… like it’s okay to have kids so long as you’re trying to get “one of each” (a boy and a girl) but if you already have a boy and a girl, there’s no point in having more. And I’ve been asked what my husband does (because, shockingly, we’ll be married 3 years this August, and we’re on our third child in 3 years, and they all have the same father and we’ve been married the entire time) and get scornful looks when I say I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and we’re going to homeschool…
    At any rate, my point is, my third child has yet to be born, and I have been called crazy already. I can’t imagine what people will say when we have more (Lord willing) as we know what birth control – and even “Natural Family Planning” – are, yet we don’t believe in either. (And we’re not Catholic, Mormon, or anything “crazy,” unless you consider Reformed Presbyterian.

  16. We get these questions a lot as well. However, most of the questions I feel are asked purely out of curiosity……..anything out of the norm spurns reactions and questions. As long as people are not outright rude and offensive I feel an obligation to be an ambassador of large families. I think because I am so dang proud of my family, it’s hard for me to imagine someone not being as happy as I am about our brood! I have been jerked out of “cloud 9” several times and I will have to say I wasn’t very nice about it.

    We have 12 children ages 15yrs to 4mos and believe me……..we make heads turn when our van empties out like a clown car. When my husband is asked if he is Mormon…..had always replies “Well, I am more man today than I was yesterday!”

    Thanks for you post. It all needed to be said.

  17. Fantastic read! I had a young man shout once when I was out with my 5 young ones (we have 6 now) “You should’ve used a condom!” Instead of shouting back “so should your mother!” (we always think of the wittiest remarks after the event don’t we?!) Instead I was upset and said to him that he knew nothing about me or my family and had no right to comment. It is a choice for us, being Catholic. And I’m thoroughly sick of the other question of “are you going to have anymore?” That’s the most hate question of all, but when we’re old and grey we’d like to think we’ll have our boys and their families around us, that’s a real comfort 🙂

    1. PS, I always attempt to justify that they are indeed all my husbands by “we’ve been married 10 years…our eldest is 9”.

  18. As a parent of just the 7 – thank you for this – people are cruel & if one more person asks me if I own a television…..
    Enjoy your children everyone I do 🙂

  19. Thanks for this! We only have four, and we’re done unless God has one more trick up His sleeve. 🙂 But yes, I’ve gotten the questions, too. “Are they all by the same father?” “What is it with you young couples and your large families?” “Do you not own a television set?” “What does your husband DO for a living?”

    When pregnant with my son and out and about with my three daughters, I’d hear, “Trying for a boy?” (We weren’t “trying” at all, but that was none of their concern either!)

    One nice Christian gentleman asked me “And where is your husband?” one day- and THAT was while I was out with JUST my son!

    And one day, while pregnant with my third daughter, I walked my other two into a mall bathroom and took them into the big stall, only to hear the extremely uncouth lady who was there with her daughter when we walked in mutter: “Don’t you know how that HAPPENS YET?”

    I just blurted out, “oh I KNOW that was not directed at me!” She was long gone by the time my girls were done using the restroom. 😀

    I look young for my age, as well, and this has led to many awkward moments, especially as a new mom. “Tsk, tsk… Babies having babies.” (I was 22, two years married, with a 1 year old.) “HOW OLD ARE YOU?!” “Is that your little sister?” “Aww, is that your ‘little friend’?” lol…

  20. Love this! I grew up with 4 siblings and we got a lot of stares and comments when we were out in public. My sister and her husband have made no secret of the fact that they are planning to have a large family and the negativity they’ve received about that decision is absolutely appalling.
    Here are my feelings about children:


  21. People are crazy, ignorant but more importantly, faithless. The entire world is driven by feelings of instant gratification and entitlement. There is no work ethic anymore, children are handed everything hand over fist, never made to do a minute of real work in their lives and we are all suffering for it! Quality of workmanship everywhere has all but vanished, the children of these selfish ignorants are supposed to be “teaching children” and “governing citizens,” “manufacturing products” and “providing healthcare.” It is indescribable what effect the mindset of pro-choice and environmental activists has had on the entire world, not just the USA. Every facet of life is affected by the generations that stemmed from selfishness and laziness. Unfathomable!

    I grew up in a family of twelve children and now have thirteen of my own. While I do get all these comments and many others, “right up in our faces,” I know that when my children leave to live their adult lives, they will know what charity is, what it is to earn a living, what respect is, how to manage without their parents, cook a meal, wash their clothes, and most of all, have faith that their good lives will always be the foundation they fall back on. “Everyone needs a fall back” is what they say…well, give that fall back to them by teaching them to fish rather than handing the fish to them.

  22. this angers me so much- I currently have your ecard as my facebook pic.
    ‘of course all these children were planned, someone has to outbreed all the idiots’
    I have 5 and god will more one day but we are budgeting, non wasting, tax paying and responsable parents and I refuse to justify that to anyone that is rude enough to ask me this kind of question.
    that is all. x

  23. I just had the comment about I shouldn’t have any more (I have 7) from a family member the other day. She has 2 and I told her I would NEVER think of asking her or telling her to have more children…. Apparently when you “go against the grain”, people think they have the right to say whatever pops into their heads. I don’t get it.

  24. Well said!! I have 4 children and although we’re not planning anymore ‘who knows?’ I’m so fed up of all those questions and stares too! Fantastic read 🙂

  25. I loved reading this and from what I have read about your way of life, would love to do it myself. (minus the home schooling) I have 4 under 6 and when pregnant with my 3rd got shouted at to stop having kids and get a job. I feel the need constantly to justify myself yes my husband works yes they all have the same dad yes we were married before I had them. Yes I spend time with each one of them. I had my first boy this year so now it’s you can stop now you have a boy well I didn’t care I’ve always wanted a big family and luckily found a guy that feels the same. Unfortunately the minority spoil it for the majority and everyone is branded the same so said.

  26. I’m waiting for the next time someone suggests that we shouldn’t have so many children… some time when it’s appropriate to say something like “when I’m old and un-able to take care of myself, I’ll have kids and grand-kids keeping me from getting lonely… and a LOT more taxpaying offspring to support my retirement than someone with one or two kids.”
    Take a look at the nursing homes and all the lonely seniors there. The lucky seniors are the ones with large families to keep them going and to keep them interested in life.

  27. Hi Tania
    Just like to say i admire you for everything you have done and doing.
    I’m the youngest of nineteen siblings all from the same parents,i have twelve sisters and six brothers.one set of twins in amongst them the my mum fostered a boy as he was being beaten by his parents..my dad worked hard to support us all but sadly my dad past away when i was fifteen sadly missed by many.i am now forty five My mum is eighty nine this year and you would never think she had that many children and just like yourself she made all dinners from scratch and proper dinners too.We had all the same things your getting
    about having a large family and we just laughed as most of them had a sad life and couldn’t manage with two kids. forty five years later and still have all my brothers and sisters.I admire you coz you remind me so much of my mum
    And she is one amazing lady for her achievment on family life so good luck to you and your family in the future..
    regards Paul

    1. Hello Paul,

      Thank you so much for your comment. Mike and I read it with a big smile on our faces. I’d love to meet your mother – she sounds a very remarkable lady and I can only hope my children will be half as praising of me as you are of her.
      Thank you so very much.

  28. Love it! I wish I could have a pound for every time I had to explain my sister’s large family (5 kids) to people. People seem to think having THAT many kids is an accident rather than a dream come true. 🙂

  29. Go for it. After our 3rd and forth children arrived together we were told the odds where it would happen again, and my health was not good while pregnant. so I trained to be a nurse now 15 yrs later I am a stay at home Mum to two wee permanent foster girls making the number of children I have had the pleasure of helping to raise(short term or long)- 22. I found a way to help others and have lots of wee kids. I fully recommend it. 🙂
    I do get asked if I am the Grandmother a bit though.

  30. Yes, it is hard when people make rude comments. We have 8 children that span 20yrs to 18mos. and we get asked all kind of questions about the age gap and what it’s like having babies while having a child is married. Most of it is out of curiosity, but some comments are rude. I think that a lot of the rudeness comes out of part of their heart wanting the same happiness and contentment in their family that they see in our large families. That rudeness is not necessarily meant for us, but is a defense mechanism so they don’t acknowledge their really feelings to themselves. That is why, no matter how rude people are, I try to season my response with grace and not snarkiness. Show the the love of Jesus, you may be the only large or homeschooling family they encounter.

  31. This post made me very teary, its so sad that there are so many people out there with such negativity in their lives that they feel the need to pass this on as rudeness to others,
    I am the youngest of four girls and I think my parents probably would have had many more children if I hadn’t been so perfect to finish the set hahaha
    Jokes aside, my personal opinion is be your family big or small surely as long as everyone is happy what business is it of others,
    Sending happy thoughts to all and well done on having such a beautiful family :O)

  32. Don’t you think alot of it is rooted in all the lies out there about how much children really cost? Reading any of the articles about raising childrten today and the related costs give you serious doubts about it because looking deeper into the article it is based on maybe more of a trendy yuppy lifestyle. Certainly not the stay at home, home cooking,vegetable gardening, buying as much clothing second hand as possible, driving older cars. living modest life style. We have 6, with a paid off house, no credit card debt and have never had a huge income.

    I used to work with alot of young parents who believed alot of untruths about how they couldn’t handle more then 2 etc. Doing any research you see these lies came directly from Margaret Sanger the founder of PP .Who said you can’t give them enough of your time, you can’t handle them….
    I applaude all of you breaking down the barriers of these lies by successfully raising large families and doing it well. Let the naysayers see our example and maybe, just maybe they will come to the realization that it was a lie they believed all along…..

  33. People are crazy. I only had 1 child because of infertility, and people would say I was being selfish not to have another, or tell my daughter directly, your mommy needs to give you a baby brother or sister!
    Just smile and count your blessings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.